What’s that Letter?: A Letter Recognition Game
Objective
To identify and form letters of the alphabet
Primary Market
Education, Pre School, Primary Ed
Character Focus
Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Cognitive Skills
Items Needed
paper and pencils or boards and markers
The Activity Time
10 to 60 minutes

This is a great letter recognition game.  It can be used with children as young as 4, who are just learning their letters, but can be adapted to include phonics and be used with children as old as 8.

Activity Setup:  Put the rods and connectors in the middle of the floor and sit in a circle around them. Give each player a piece of paper and pencil or dry erase board and marker.

Activity Guidelines: Explain that we are going to play a game of build and write.  The player that is “up”, creates a letter using the rods and connectors.  As soon as the other players know what letter it is, they can shout it out.  (The first person to guess, goes next)  Once the letter is revealed, everyone gets a chance to build the letter themselves. Remind them that they are not obligated to build the letter the same way! Encourage them to find new ways to build the same letter (using shorter rods, using a short and a log rod, etc).   Enrich handwriting skills by having them write the letter on paper or on a board as well.  You could also use handwriting worksheets or wipe-off letters.

Step 1: Player 1 creates a letter.

Aleya made a letter "E"

Aleya made a letter “E”

Step 2: Players guess the letter.

Step 3: Players create the letter with their own rods and connectors.

Lyrik making an "E"

Step 4: Players write the letters on their papers or boards.

Aleya writes her letter "E"

Step 5: Player 2 builds the next letter.

Variations:
1: For younger children, write all the letters in block form (as they would look with the rods and connectors) on small strips of paper and allow them to pick them from a cup.

2: For older children, include digraphs such as “sh’ or “ch” and instead of guessing the letter, have them guess the sound.

Expansions:

1. Have the other players try to build the opposite case of the letter the original player built.  For example, if Aleya builds an uppercase E, the players try to build a lowercase e.  How can you overcome the need for bend rods?

2. Build words out of the letters you have built.

 

Joe Donahue is the manager of day-to-day operations and the person who originally conceived of the TOOBEEZ product.

Joe had a vision to create a life-sized Tinker Toy(TM) for families to play with to help reconnect with each other. It took four years of business planning, market research, manufacturing trips, endless conference calls with engineers, designers and patent attorneys but finally on September 21, 2003, the Toobeez product was born!

Often referred to as Giant Tinkertoys(TM), Toobeez is a life-sized construction building system comprised of interlocking tubes and spheres that can be linked together to create anything imaginable, from a simple cube shape to a complex structure like a lemonade stand, house, airplane or submarine. Just connect, twist and create!

Initially, Toobeez was sold exclusively to the specialty toy market, but due to its open-ended nature, it didn’t take long to realize the versatility of the product and the many different ways it could be used.

Today, the Toobeez system is currently being used by educators, team building/training professionals, occupational and recreational therapists, camp counselors, Boy and Girl Scout troops, church youth groups and the list grows every day. There is even a group of forward thinking dog trainers who use Toobeez to create challenging courses for agility training (we're not making this up)!

Armed with the knowledge that there was more to Toobeez than just a toy, Joe reached out to industry experts and educators with the goal of developing a collection of materials that provide activities, educational tools and lesson plans for use with Toobeez. Among the topics covered: team building, math, language arts, occupational therapy and special needs and senior needs. Currently under development is a corporate team building workbook and a physical education activity book.

Whether in a playroom, classroom, corporation, camp or healthcare setting, Toobeez aims to provide every participant with a positive, healthy and fun learning experience!

Since the inception of Toobeez in 2001, it has been the company’s mission to connect people, inspire creativity and foster imagination. As a testament to their roots, Joe and the entire Toobeez team continuously strive to deliver a quality product that promotes connection and teamwork to ultimately bring people together.
All Activities of Joe Donahue - Inventor

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